How have snow days effected schools?

REGIONAL – With record-breaking snowfall across the region, school districts have been forced to cancel classes. What does this mean for the remainder of the school year?

KID Radio spoke with officials from Idaho Falls School District 91, Bonneville School District 93, and Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 about the effects snow days will have on the remainder of the year.

According to all three districts, there is not a specific number of snow days built into the calendar. The school calendars are designed to best meet the academic needs of the students.

The state provides 11 emergency closure hours per school year, which translates to two days in the classroom.

When asked how schools will make up for the snow days if they’re needed, Idaho Falls School District 91 spokeswoman Margaret Wimborne said, “We are not at a point where students will have to make up any time… Since we’re not close to having to make up any hours we haven’t made any decisions about how we would do that.”

Bonneville District 93 spokesman Phil Campbell said, “We are not at that point. If we were to reach that point, we would look at increasing instructional time within the day before looking at other alternatives. For example, we could shorten recess by a few minutes each day to help bring us back to where we need to be.”

Finally, Pocatello-Chubbuck District 25 spokeswoman Shelley Allen said that as of right now District 25 will decide how to handle making up for the snow days if that time came, but as of now they are doing fine in regards to how the snow days have effected them.

Idaho Falls and Bonneville Districts have had three snow days this year.

“The state doesn’t require students to attend school for a specific number of days. Rather, they require students to meet a certain number of instructional hours, which varies by grade level.” Wimborne continues, “High school students, for example, have more required instructional hours than kindergartners. Our calendars always have more than the state’s required number of instructional hours for each grade level so it’s generally not an issue.”

For now, school district officials say they are optimistic about the remainder of the school year.